Online Social Networks and Police in India—Understanding the Perceptions, Behavior, Challenges

  • Niharika SachdevaEmail author
  • Ponnurangam Kumaraguru
Conference paper


Safety is a concern for most urban communities; police departments bear the majority of responsibility to maintain law and order and prevent crime. Police agencies across the globe are increasingly using Online Social Network (OSN) (such as Facebook and Twitter) to acquire intelligence and connect with citizens. Developing nations like India are however, still exploring OSN for policing. We interviewed 20 IPS officers and 21 citizens to understand perceptions, and explored challenges experienced while using OSN for policing. Interview analysis, highlights how citizens and police think about information shared on OSN, handling offensive comments, and acknowledgment overload, as they pursue social and safety goals. We found that success of OSN for policing demands effective communication between the stakeholders (citizens and police). Our study shows that OSN offers community-policing opportunities, enabling police to identify crime with the help of citizens. It can reduce the communication gap and improve coordination between police and citizens. We also discuss design opportunities for tools to support social interactions between stakeholders.


Police Officer Target Audience Police Department Online Social Network Community Partnership 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We would like to thank all participants for sharing their views with us. We would also like to thank TCS for funding the project through Ph.D. fellowship. Our special thanks to Mr. Nandkumar Sarvade who helped us connect with IPS officers. We would like to thank CERC and Precog members for supporting us throughout the project; special thanks to Aditi Gupta and Siddhartha Asthana.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cybersecurity Education and Research Center (CERC)IIIT-DelhiNew DelhiIndia

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